Meniere’s disease is a condition characterized by recurrent episodes of vertigo (dizzy spells in which the patient feels like the world is spinning around them) associated with ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and deafness. Nausea, vomiting, sweating and faintness often accompany the vertigo attacks. It most frequently begins in the fifth decade of life and results from an abnormality and degeneration of part of the inner ear (labyrinth). It has an incidence of between 1 in 1000 to 1 in 600 and is more common in descendants of Vikings, Northern Europeans and Japanese.
Generally, Meniere’s disease runs a benign course and most patients undergo spontaneous recovery. The natural history of the syndrome is unpredictable with long remissions. Hence, it is difficult to evaluate various treatments and procedures with accuracy.
What causes it?
The underlying cause is usually unknown, but may be associated with fluid retention and food allergies. Some sufferers have reported the following triggers: wind and cold, stuffy crowded rooms, carrying extra weight. New research has shown that Meniere’s disease may be an autoimmune condition.
Treatment and general recommendations
- Bed rest, lying as still as possible, is essential during an acute attack to minimise the vertigo.
- Avoid sudden movements of the head and loud noises.
- Always check with your doctor if any medications you are taking or are about to take are toxic to the inner ear. Try to avoid such drugs.
- Many sufferers find that acupuncture provides some relief.
- Wear a beanie or scarf over head during cold windy weather.
- Moderate exercise daily is recommended – bike riding, walking and swimming.
- Avoid stress where possible.
- It is recommended to follow the eating principles in “The Liver Cleansing Diet” book.
- Include often – raw fruits and vegetables, fish, pastured eggs, poultry, red meat and raw juices.
- Avoid – caffeine, omega 6 rich industrial seed oils.
- Avoid ALL dairy products and gluten. This will help to reduce inflammation and help any autoimmune disease. See the book “Healing Autoimmune Disease”‘ for further info.
- Also avoid refined sugars, artificial sweeteners or diet colas because these destabilise blood sugar levels. See www.dorway.com for more information on artificial sweeteners.
- Be aware that food allergies can exacerbate Meniere’s disease.
Raw fresh vegetable juices are important. Recommended recipes from “Raw Juices Can Save Your Life” are:
- 4 large sprigs parsley
- 2 dandelion leaves or 3 watercress leaves
- 3 sticks celery, leaves on
- 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) fresh ginger
- 1 red radish with tops
- 1 Lebanese cucumber – skin on
- 1 orange
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- Wash, chop and put all ingredients through juicer.
Immune Booster Juice
- 1 stick celery
- 1 ripe tomato
- 1 pear
- 1/4 beetroot
- 1 lemon or 1 lime
- 1 grapefruit
- 1 carrot
- 2 dandelion leaves or 2 cabbage leaves
- 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) slice fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic or 1/4 red onion (optional)
- Wash, trim and chop and process through juicer.
Orthodox medical treatment
Medications such as prochlorperazine and dimenhydrinate are sometimes helpful in the treatment of the vertigo. Betahistine three times daily may be beneficial for all the symptoms including vertigo, deafness, tinnitus, nausea and vomiting. Mild sedative drugs may help some anxious patients between attacks. If the attacks become severe and persistent, surgery to destroy the labyrinth of the ear or the vestibular nerve (responsible for balance) may be required.
Recommended supplements for Meniere’s disease
- Bone Build
Take 2 capsules twice daily – Meniere’s sufferers need a good mineral supplement – Manganese 5 mg daily is often useful, as Meniere’s disease has been linked to manganese deficiency. In our experience, dizzy spells may be associated with zinc deficiency and can be reduced by taking zinc chelate 10 to 20 mg daily.
Take 1-2 capsules daily with food – Antioxidants are essential to reduce free radical damage and inflammation in the inner ear. Selenium helps all autoimmune conditions.
- Vitamin D
Take 1 capsule daily with breakfast. Vitamin D helps reduce inflammation.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.